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  • News

    Cancer studies get mixed grades on redo tests

    An effort to reproduce findings of five prominent cancer studies has produced a mixed bag of results.

    In a series of papers published January 19 in eLife, researchers from the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology report that none of five prominent cancer studies they sought to duplicate were completely reproducible. Replicators could not confirm any of the findings of one study. In...

    01/18/2017 - 16:42 Science & Society, Cancer
  • News in Brief

    Heart-hugging robot does the twist (and squeeze)

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    A new squishy robot could keep hearts from skipping a beat.

    A silicone sleeve slipped over pigs’ hearts helped pump blood when the hearts failed, researchers report January 18 in Science Translational Medicine. If the sleeve works in humans, it could potentially keep weak hearts pumping, and buy time for patients waiting for a transplant.

    To make the device...

    01/18/2017 - 14:00 Technology, Robotics
  • News

    New molecular knot is most complex yet

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    One hundred and ninety-two atoms have tied the knot.

    Chains of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms, woven together in a triple braid, form the most complex molecular knot ever described, chemists from the University of Manchester in England report in the Jan. 13 Science.

    Learning how to tie such knots could one day help researchers weave molecular...

    01/12/2017 - 14:00 Chemistry, Materials
  • Science Visualized

    Shimmering soap bubbles have a dark side

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    Zoom in on a soap bubble just before it bursts and brilliant, complex patterns emerge. Shimmery rainbows appear in thicker portions of the soap film, while clusters of dark spots appear in the thinnest regions.

    The thickness of the soap film determines the color seen. Light rays that reflect off of the top and bottom of the film combine to amplify particular...

    01/12/2017 - 07:00 Biophysics
  • News

    It takes guts for a sea spider to pump blood

    NEW ORLEANS — A newfound way of delivering oxygen in animal circulatory systems depends mostly on food sloshing back and forth in the guts.

    This discovery came in sea spiders, or pycnogonids, which can look like legs in search of a body. Their spookily long legs hold stretches of digestive tract, which wouldn’t fit inside the creatures’ scrap of an abdomen. Waves of contraction sweeping...

    01/11/2017 - 16:46 Animals, Physiology
  • News

    Pain promoter also acts as pain reliever

    A protein that sounds the alarm when the body encounters something painful also helps put out the fire.

    Called Nav1.7, the protein sits on pain-sensing nerves and has long been known for sending a red alert to the brain when the body has a brush with pain. Now, experiments in rodent cells reveal another role for Nav1.7: Its activity triggers the production of pain-relieving molecules....

    01/11/2017 - 16:09 Neuroscience, Cells
  • News in Brief

    Retracted result on network equivalence reinstated

    A computer scientist has taken his colleagues on a rollercoaster ride.

    In the span of several days, László Babai of the University of Chicago walked back his earlier claim of making a major advance on a classic puzzle of computer science, only to reinstate it after fixing an error in his work.

    At issue is the problem of “graph isomorphism,” which demands that a computer determine...

    01/11/2017 - 10:47 Computing
  • Feature

    Evidence falls into place for once and future supercontinents

    Look at any map of the Atlantic Ocean, and you might feel the urge to slide South America and Africa together. The two continents just beg to nestle next to each other, with Brazil’s bulge locking into West Africa’s dimple. That visible clue, along with several others, prompted Alfred Wegener to propose over a century ago that the continents had once been joined in a single enormous landmass....

    01/11/2017 - 08:38 Earth
  • News in Brief

    Milky Way’s black hole may hurl galactic spitballs our way

    GRAPEVINE, TEXAS — The gargantuan black hole at the center of the Milky Way is a little like an unruly kid, hurling spitballs. But unlike a child’s arsenal, these spitballs are roughly the size of a planet and can travel fast enough to shoot out of the galaxy. Some might even zip right by our solar system.

    Stars that pass too close to the black hole can be shredded by the intense gravity...

    01/10/2017 - 09:00 Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Dark matter still missing

    Chalk up one more loss for physicists searching for dark matter. Scientists with the XENON100 experiment have largely ruled out another experiment’s controversial claim of detecting dark matter.

    XENON100, located in Italy’s Gran Sasso National Laboratory, aims to directly detect particles of dark matter — the unknown substance that scientists believe makes up the bulk of matter in the...

    01/10/2017 - 07:00 Particle Physics